HBO's "The Laramie Project" & other Matthew Shepard related films

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Allred, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    Watched the movie on HBO tonight, "The Laramie Project", anybody else catch it?
    I thought it was interesting, seeing how the movie wasn't so much based on Matthew Shepard himself but rather on the town of Laramie and it's residents. An interesting cast even though it seemed as if you were flying by each performance in the blink of an eye.
    The only other film on the murder was MTV's "Anatomy of a Hate Crime" which I really liked. It was surprisingly even handed given that the vicious murderers were given so much screen time.
    I know NBC has their own film (with the Shepard family's blessing I believe) coming soon.
    It's hard to believe it's been over 3 years since the murder. One of the last lines in "The Laramie Project" asked what has really come out of Matthew's murder? Anything concrete? Any new hate crime laws? Rather depressing really if you think about it. Maybe these 2 new films will re-awaken the topic among the public and hopefully, our lawmakers.
     
  2. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    Is there a reason that there was so much language in the mtv movie that it had to be cnsored
     
  3. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    I gotta admit, I'm not expecting much from The Laramie Project. The reason why is because of another HBO movie that came out nine years ago: And the Band Played On.
    That movie had its heart in the right place, but was dragged down by the star-heavy cast, to the point where it got so distracting I couldn't really get into the picture, not mention losing some of its emotional power. And I got the feeling The Laramie Project will have the exact same effect on me. I hope you can prove me wrong, Michael.
    Perhaps a documentary would've been the best thing for Shepard's tale...
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  5. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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  6. Judy Y

    Judy Y Stunt Coordinator

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    "The Laramie Project" was very well done. It moved quickley and the scenes very effectively displayed many aspects of the thoughts and feelings of the residents of Laramie.

    As for what has really happened since, (i.e. more legislation), the death and aftermath of Matthew Shepard's death has AWAKENED people. It has made them THINK. "The Laramie Project" really pointed this out well.
     
  7. Jeff Loughridge

    Jeff Loughridge Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to agree that killing someone is already a "hate" crime. The source or focus of the hate is irrelevant in terms of the effect on the victim. Dead is dead. The punishment for murder should be the same, regardless of the motivation.

    It was noble and generous of the father to grant Matthew's killer "life," I can't say I would have been able to be as kind.

    I do find it ironic that he now lives in a prison society where, by now, he's probably someone's"bitch."


    (Word hidden to keep family atmosphere)
     
  8. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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  9. Jon_W

    Jon_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll just chime in on this hate crime thing before the conversation gets cut off.

    If society can find a difference between 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, and manslaughter, then the arguement that dead is dead does not hold water. Killing someone in self defense is looked at in a certain way by courts to determine certain things. The intent behind murder is important.

    As for the film I thought it was well done. It lacked the emotional impact I thought it might have. Looking at the town was a good way to approanch this project. There was a certain sense of realism to what the characters said. I think everyone knows a person like the Baptist minister who hides his hate through language. It will be interesting to see the NBC movie.
     
  10. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Producer
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    I have to agree with Mr Allred here:
    When some one says they were a victim of a "Hate Crime,"
    we all know exactly what they mean:
    that they were attacked because of their
    gender, nation of origin, religious beliefs, or
    sexual orientation.
    Sure, all murder is a "hate crime," but
    some of you people are trying to redefine "hate crime"
    from everything that is derived from that term now.
    No one uses the term "hate crime" when a liquor
    store is robbed. No one uses the term "hate crime"
    when a husband kills his wife. If you want
    to talk about the denotations and connotations
    of words, I suggest that belongs in another thread
    at at some English language forum. [​IMG]
    *Warning* Mark has been know to get his feat
    stuck in glue when standing on the soap box. [​IMG]
    Mark
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Let's try to keep the discussion focused on The Laramie Project (and the NBC movie if people want to review it).
    M.
     
  12. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    I enjoyed "The Laramie Project". I had the chance to see it performed live a few months ago, and there have been changes for the film - dramatizations, but the dialogue is the same. Coming from direct interviews, this is a very honest picture of the people presented. And it is a picture. I don't find it heavy handed at all, it presents what exists in Laramie, and what exists everywhere.

    I found myself weeping at a few points during this film. As I did on stage. Partly the film works better than the stage play because of the lack of intermission. The play breaks immediately after the indian woman saying (I'm paraphasing) "we have to own this, we are this way". I honestly thought the play was over. I felt it was complete, and that it was a wonderful ending. I'm glad I stayed for the second act, but the first act had a better ending.

    The crime of Matthew Shephard's murder is something that we as Americans do have to own. It happenned here, and it's wrong. I do agree that murder is wrong whether you kill someone because you hate them or because you love them. However hate is dangerous, no matter who it is you busy yourself hating. I could get preachy here, but hopefully people will come away from this film with a view of tolerance. We all have to live together on this really tiny plot of land in space. At six months past 9/11 and 3 years and 5 months past Matthews murder, we know that hate does horrible, horrible things to people. Both the haters and the hated. Please let me know if you find this to be political, I don't mean to be.
     
  13. Ian_Fisher

    Ian_Fisher Stunt Coordinator

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    I know it's early, but does anybody have any info on The Laramie Project coming out to DVD? I got rid of HBO a couple months ago (I own most of the movies they show...in their OAR!), but I am really interested in seeing this movie.

    I lived in Laramie for 4 years when I was in college. In fact, I graduated and moved in June of 1998, which was the summer before this tragedy happened. I am really interested in seeing how everything was potrayed.
     
  14. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Laramie was premeired theatrically at Sundance. This makes me think that:

    1) The DVD will be at 1.85 anamorphic

    and

    2) HBO was so pleased with this film that they want to qualify it for awards. I _HONESTLY_ don't think this film will fit in with any awards for 2002, but I could be wrong.

    I expect we'll see a DVD announcement within the next 6 months.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I haven't seen any announcements, but HBO has been pretty reliable about releasing its original productions to DVD. It may take some time, since they'll want to rerun it a bit before making it available, but I'm sure it'll get here.

    M.
     

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